Re: Humans Face Major Population 'Correction' This Century, Scientist Warns
Written by Olivia Nater | Published: August 22, 2023
We submitted a letter to the editor in response to a Newsweek article on August 22. As we did not receive a response, we are featuring the letter below.
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Thanks to Pandora Dewan for covering the critical issue of human population growth in “Humans Face Major Population ‘Correction’ This Century, Scientist Warns” (August 21). Media stories usually claim that the risks presented by our ever-expanding human enterprise have been exaggerated, because the mass starvation predicted in 1968’s The Population Bomb hasn’t occurred. But they ignore all the other ways in which the “bomb” did go off, including the annihilation of biodiversity, resource depletion, and climate breakdown, all of which are indeed paving the way towards disaster on a global scale.
Many likely believe that William Rees’ societal collapse forecast is too pessimistic, but he is right that governments’ response to our polycrisis is nowhere near enough to prevent the worst-case scenarios. Amid increasing environmental breakdown, water stress, hunger, resulting conflict, and mass displacement, paired with vastly inadequate climate policies and huge funding shortfalls for voluntary population stabilization, it is difficult to imagine a rosy future. We must change that.